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‘Mission: Impossible’s’ action exciting to see

Movie review
By: Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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By the time any film franchise reaches its fourth iteration, the series is usually an empty husk that only barely resembles the ideas and vivacity that made the first movie so great. “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” bucks that trend by cutting out the fat that dragged down two previous sequels and injects a nimble sense of adventure and humor that most modern spy movies lack. Tom Cruise returns as Ethan Hunt, who must find a way to stop the world from nuclear war after tensions arise between Russia and the United States. The only problem is that the Impossible Missions Force (IMF) has been framed and subsequently shut down. Therefore, Hunt and his ragtag team must go rogue and complete their mission totally unassisted. What makes “Ghost Protocol” so special and a must-see in IMAX is a collection of heart-stopping and energetic action sequences that utterly tops anything in the series thus far. A stunt performed in Dubai, on the outside of the tallest skyscraper in the world is a vertigo-inducing showstopper that skillfully ratchets up the tension and begs to be seen on the largest screen possible. Director Brad Bird (“The Incredibles”) makes his live-action film debut and shows that his mastery of story and pacing cannot be constrained by an animated frame. It’s Bird’s steady hand that allows “Ghost Protocol” to reach new heights for the franchise. Previous entries in the series have been notable for particular attributes but none have tied them all together as neatly and efficiently as this one. Cruise is also in rare form, showing a liveliness that had been absent in his recent films. His liveliness invigorates the plot and keeps it from being overly dour or straight-laced. The right tone is key for any film and “Mission: Impossible -Ghost Protocol” sticks the landing expertly. It’s one of the best action films of the year and quite possibly the best “Impossible” mission yet. Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer. ---------- “Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” Directed by Brad Bird Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner and Simon Pegg Rating: Five out of five stars